Fifty-Five Bookish Questions

What better way to end a year than in a bookish post? One of my non-New Year's resolutions last year was to read more books. I didn't succeed as well as I'd have liked, but at least enough to justify swiping these questions from this blog: Wishful Thinking

1.  Your favourite book as a child? I've been told that I'd listened to Black Beauty so many times as a child that I was able to recite it.

2.  What are you reading right now? Man of the Family by Ralph Moody

3.  What books do you have on request at the library?  None. I don't like reading on a deadline, so looming library return dates have a way of stealing my pleasure in a story.

4.  Bad book habit. Reading a book from back to front.

5.  What do you currently have checked out from your library? Ummm...

6.  Do you have an e-reader?  No. No. Nope! I refuse to own one of the dreadful things.

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or do you tend to read several at once? I tend to juggle two or three books at a time, though if one book specially catches my interest, I'll devour it exclusively. 

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  Not really. I do read more blogs now than I did before.

9.  What was your least favourite book this year?  Oh, deary me. I don't know. Stephen Lawhead's Hood was a disappointment. It was not necessarily a bad book. I simply could not muster any real interest in the characters. 

10.  What was your FAVOURITE book this year?  Again, this is hard. I read a great many lovely books, but my favorite was probably Collected Poems of Robert Service.

11.  How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I don't much care for books that celebrate darkness and immorality, so I rarely read outside of that comfort zone. Beyond that, I'll read anything that catches my fancy or comes recommended by someone I respect. 

12.  What is your reading comfort zone?  Well-crafted stories that celebrate truth and beauty. 

13.  Can you read in the car? Occasionally. If the road is smooth and straight, I can manage.

14.  Where is your favourite place to read? Cozy, comfy little nooks and crannies. Lately, I've enjoyed sitting in the warm spot behind the wood stove

15.  What is your policy on book-lending? My books are like my friends. If I think you'll like each other, I'll introduce you.  

16.  Do you ever dog-ear in books?  Sacrilege! 

17.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books? You should see the inside of my Bible!

18.  What about text books?  I wrote in my math books when I was a kid. It gave me great pleasure to correct their grammar or spelling errors. When the solution manual got the wrong answer, I would mark it out and write in the correct answer with fiendish glee. I didn't like math very much.

19.  What is your favourite language to read in?  English. I can stumble along in most Latin-based languages, but I certainly don't have mastery.

20.  What makes you love a book? Characters I truly care about. An author who knows what they're doing. Depth. My favorite books are like onions; each re-reading peels back another layer and reveals something new. If a book can make me laugh, cry, and send those funny shivers racing up and down my back, then I'll probably love it.

21.  What would inspire you to recommend a book? Sometimes, you get to know a person and you think, 'they simply must read this book'. What's even better is when you start to recommend said book, and the person replies, 'oh yeah! I love that one.' 

22.  What is your favourite genre? Urgh...this is too hard. Probably the easy out is to list Poetry, so that's what I'll do.

23.  What is a genre you rarely read but wish that you did? It's a toss-up between Theology and Historical Non-Fiction. Both things I love, but never seem to read.

24.  Favourite biography? Rees Howells; Intercessor by Norman Grubb. That book literally changed my life. 

25.  Have you ever read a self-help book? That I have not. Nor do I intend to.

26.  Favourite cookbook? I regard recipes as guidelines more than actual rules. That being said, the old Betty Crocker cookbooks provide a pretty good set of guidelines. 

27.  What is the most inspirational book you have read this year? The Bible, of course, and beyond that, Rosemary Sutcliff's books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, and Praise at Morning by Mildred Masterson McNeilly have all pushed me forward as a writer. 

28.  Favourite reading snack? Tea! Coffee! Chocolate! Carrots!

29.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. The Hunger Games trilogy was not all it was talked up to be. 

30.  How often do you agree with critics about a book? I rarely agree with critics about much of anything.

31.  How do you feel about giving negative reviews? I do give them on occasion. I try to make them as intelligent and open-minded as possible, because if I was a published author, I would want to read such reviews about my books. That being said, these reviews usually come up in conversation more than in cold, hard ink. 

32.  If you could read a foreign language, which would you choose? Too hard! Latin would be handy, because I would then have a grasp on so many other languages. Russian and Arabic both look sooo cool, though!

33.  What was the most intimidating book you've ever read? Tolkien's The Silmarillion was a bit dry, but I persevered and truly loved a lot of it. I also read Elsie one day. Why? I do not know.

34.  What is the most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin? The Zulu Kings by Brian Roberts. I've actually begun it twice now, but never made it past the fourth chapter. I know I'll be very happy once I make it all the way through. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is another book I've tried (and failed) to read more times than I care to remember. 

35.  Who is your favourite poet? That's like asking a mother, 'who is your favorite child.' No fair! I'd have to say that God's poetry is the best I've ever read. Robert Service, Robert Frost, Tolkien and Emily Dickinson all come second, and in no particular order. 

36.  On average, how many books do you have checked out of the library at any given time? The most I've ever checked out was two or three. 

37.  How often do you return books to the library unread? Too often. That's why I stopped using the library.

38.  Who are your favourite fictional characters? And I thought the favorite poet question was bad! Frodo, Sam, Eowyn and Faramir (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Rab and Johnny, (Johnny Tremain) Mrs. Pollifax from the the series of that name, Haleth (The Silmarillion) Lucy, Jill, Edmund and Eustace (The Chronicles of Narnia), Emma (Emma). I'd better stop now.

39.  Who is your favourite fictional villain? Honestly, I'm not much in the habit of liking villains. I must say that I feel very sorry for Gollum, though he's not so much a villain as a victim. I also had sympathy for Mordred (Legend of the Emerald Rose). I'm detecting a pattern here...

40.  What are the books you are most likely to take on vacation? Poetry is usually a good option. I don't usually have time to read anything longer while I'm busy vacationing. 

41.  What is the longest you have gone without reading? Maybe a day...maybe. Even if I'm not reading fiction, I'm reading my Bible or someone's blog...

42.  Name a book that you could not or would not finish. Ride With Me by Thomas B. Costain. I expected to adore that book, but I...didn't. If you're going to write a hero who is immoral, you'd better take some steps toward redeeming him, or I'm simply not interested.  

43.  What distracts you easily when you're reading? People. And crazy ideas for my own stories.

44.  What is your favourite film adaptation of a novel? Honestly, The Hunger Games movies are better than the books. 

45.  What is the most disappointing film adaptation? It has to be fairly hideous to make me actually stop watching (I'll just sit there and complain). Prince Caspian was less-than impressive...though I watched the whole thing...twice.

46.  What is the most money you have spent in a bookstore at one go? Probably somewhere in the $25 range. 

47.  How often do you skim a book before reading it? Pretty much every time. It's a filthy habit.

48.  What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? A plot that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, a lack of connection with the characters, a celebratory approach to immorality, sloppy writing.

49.  Do you like to keep your books organized? Organization? What's that?

50.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you're done with them? Books are meant to be loved and read. If I know you'll love my book as much as I do, then I'll give it to you.

51.  Are there any books you've been avoiding? Livingstone the Liberator by James L. McNair. I'm confident that I'll greatly enjoy it once I get it fairly started. Also, Dickens. Dickens scares me.

52.  Name a book that made you angry. The Bible. The Bible has stirred in me an anger far deeper than any other book possibly could. 

53.  A book you didn't expect to like, but did? I bought A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on a complete whim. It was about $1 at a thrift store, so I figured it was worth the risk. That was a dollar well spent.

54.  How about a book you expected to like, but didn't? The aforementioned Ride With Me, Hood, and The Hunger Games.

55.  Favourite guilt-free pleasure reading? Rarely do I find myself feeling guilty about reading. However, when I read up about history and culture, I feel both happy and productive.